Over the last 18 years- a fencing program has developed over at Bishop Guilfoyle High School. What started as one student looking for some extra practice in the school hallways deveopled a team that has seen as many as 30 kids in one year.
The home of the marauders is also home to many traditional athletic programs like basketball and, of course, football. But it’s also home to fencing.
Fencing Coach Stuart Crocker describes the sport as “chess for the body.” He explained, “Like in chess, for every move, there’s a counter move.”
At first glance, the sport appeals to those who see it as sword fighting. But for kids like 9th Grader Ashton Emeigh, it’s the mental matchup the keeps him hooked.
He explained, “I realized how much it’s not sword fighting and how much it’s like chess.”
Holly Butler is the only girl on the BG team. Nicknamed “The Butcher”, she’s enjoyed the sport since being introduced by her brother.
She explained she enjoys is because, “”just how fun it is to be around everyone and to win bouts.”
When it’s time for bouts, matches are hard to come by. BG is one of very few schools who have carried a fencing program in the area.
Crocker said, “I would love to see a group of three, four, five schools doing this. It would ust be more interesting for everybody involved.”
He explained that fencing is a very unique sport. “You will see a comraderie between both teams that is just admirable,” he explained, “that isn’t usually seen at most sporting events.”
The more teams that get developed, the more chances for the fencers to test out their skills.
Emeigh said, “It’s always interesting to be able to learn how they do their moves and go up against new people. It’s always a great experience to grow in your fencing in like tournaments outside of here.”
For Coach Crocker, a fencer in his college days, he enjoys seeing class after class grow more interested in the sport.
He said, “I’ve watched people fence for BG for four years, leave here, got to fencing clubs at different colleges. It’s just superb.”
The season ended on March 5th, but Emeigh has challenged our Jordan Tracy to a bout next year!